Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day 70: Quantum Adventure Theory

How does an adventure change if it is being watched by otside observers?

I saw a gutted van parked high on a bank. There were multiple trails leading down the ten foot drop to a rocky bank below. People seemed to like my photos of abandoned cars on the side of the river, and there is certainly no lack of these. Dumping beats the towing fee, I guess. The geography here would mean a convenient little side adventure to take some closer photos.

It was an old Ford Econoline, and its windows had been shot away long ago. Whatever had been left of the engine was gone, and much of the dashboard torn out, but the stereo remained. I doubted it would work, and had no battery to test it. In the passenger seat I found a newspaper from March 22, 2005, and I easily believed that was the last time anyone had been there.

Part of one side had been spraypainted white, and then the words "THE HUT" painted over that in black. Some fun must have been had here. A large pit had been dugout nearby, and a bathtub placed inside. This bathtub had clearly been used to contain fires.

Another bathtub had fallen down the bank, being undercut by the river.

I considered spending the night there to live out whatever pent-up "Into the Wild" fantasies I might have, remembering how Chris finished his life in that "magic bus" in Alaska. But I remained a bit irked that when I started telling people about my plans for this trip, several people asked me if it was inspired by "Into the Wild". At first I was offended at the thought I was trying to reenact someone else's life, when the trip had been envisioned long before I read that book. Later, I was more offended at the thought I was trying to reenact someone else's /death/. I eventually got over that reaction. I've seen the movie, and read the book. They're cool, but it was still early and I decided I wanted to make a bit more distance before calling it a day.

Not too far afterwards, I stopped so I would have some time to write up some entries for [this] electronic journal. I felt guilty because I was three weeks behind, and further that this was obvious because I had just uploaded some things in Virden.

The documentation was having an effect on the trip itself. First, I got a bit closer to one of those abandoned cars than usual, next I was stopping earlier than usual to document some more.

Perhaps time is the greatest effect this documentation has had. It takes considerable time to type everything up, to upload it, to keep my computer charged and happy. But it also means that much of the time spent drifting in the canoe focuses on what things I want to write.

I wonder if my feelings, my actions, have changed as well? My boasting about past explorations has made me bolder in exploring the abandoned detritus about the river, that is a fact. The undercut house where I nearly lost my canoe? I probably would have left it alone otherwise.

All the talk about reserves and the mishaps I have there, and my ill understanding of the situation led me to pick up a book "The Unjust Society" in Virden. It's about the political situation of Indian in Canada in 1969. So, I now have an understanding 40 years out of date. The situation has improved a bit since then, or at least I hope so. This book could serve as a major piece of evidence in the devil's case against mankind.

Day 70 ended: 49*49.558N, 100*43.250W


John said...

It's not outside observers you have to worry about, it's your inside observer. It's your own writing about what happened that drives your need to compose, and to see your adventure through composition.

I remember our phone conversation, in which you told me that it's helpful to have an evaluation of quality of the writing. I wonder though, if I can scold you for writing too well at the cost of your adventuring. Let me assure you, I'm willing to sacrifice my own interest in your descriptions for the sake of the experience itself.

So, here's a challenge: every week, make sure that one of the five most interesting things that happened during the week, does not end up in the blog at all.

Don't thank me, I'm glad to help. :-P

Kevin Saff said...

John, that has actually happened at times, that a story I left out of the blog has become one of my favorites to tell people. But I haven't yet thought about trying to do that purpsefully - now there's an idea.